Monday, September 7, 2009

SF Chronicle Union Workers Told by Guild to Brace for Layoffs

The California Media Workers Guild Local 39521 told its members through its website just before the Labor Day holiday that they should brace for more layoffs at the San Fransico Chronicle.

Management representatives of the San Francisco Chronicle met Friday with the Guild to discuss the company’s plans to eliminate jobs through a combination of buyouts and layoffs.

No details have been decided, the company said, although a few positions may be cut as early as next week. Additional announcements are expected after Labor Day.

The company continues to lose money. The operating losses for the year to date are running in excess of $1 million a week, including some costs related to the workforce reductions already implemented.

Some additional losses may be tolerated, the management officials said, but the company clearly intends to reduce the gap to as close to break-even as possible during the fourth quarter. We were told that Chronicle revenues keep sliding worse than expected, mostly because of the weak economy and ongoing problems of the news industry.

Any Guild member interested in discussing a voluntary buyout is encouraged to let this be known. You may contact your supervisor, Human Resources or the Guild. We will keep any buyout interest confidential during the initial discussions.

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